About the Speaker:
jana burkhard '14
SGA Executive President, 2012-2013
Good morning and welcome Catawba family and extended family. I am honored to be able to speak to you today. I want to begin by congratulating you. You have successfully made it through countless hours of classwork, fieldwork, studying, procrastination, and test taking. You have made it to your day – graduation!
I stand before you, inspired by all you have accomplished. Catawba has so many successful graduates this year both in the classroom and out of it. The countless number of you who are attending graduate programs in the fall speaks volumes about the caliber of the graduates. While I do not believe Catawba can take all of the credit, it is reassuring to know we have such strong alumni (that's you in less than an hour) carrying Catawba's name proudly.
Our Student Government had the opportunity to award funding to students that attended academic conferences this year. Seeing the diversity of conferences that you went to shows your constant effort to give those who follow behind you wonderful opportunities. I think that Lincoln understood best your actions when he said, "That some achieve great success, is proof to all that others can achieve it as well." Through your example, we know that we can reach the same heights.
The thing that you understood so well is that the senior class helps to hold the school together. Senior athletes help to set an example on the field to help the next person get stronger and achieve their dreams. Those on the stage for theater and music teach with them poise, both behind the scenes and in the spotlight. No matter which department or area on campus you turned there was wonderful leadership, making our events memorable. You knew you were making your senior year the best you could, but what you might not know is that those of us you leave behind could not have been more grateful for the memories.
So I will end with this quote from Peter Pan, "Never say goodbye because goodbye means going away and going away means forgetting." Do not use today as a way to say goodbye, but rather see you later. See you at homecoming, Palooza, or on the cover of CAMPUS Magazine. Wherever your path takes you never say goodbye to your Catawba family, because they will always welcome you back with open arms.